Posts Tagged ‘SEC’

AlphaSense’s Advanced Linguistics Search Engine Could Buy Back Time For Financial Analysts To Do More In-Depth Research

alpha1When Raj Neervannan, CTO and co-founder of financial search engine company AlphaSense, thinks about search, he thinks about it “as a killer app that is only growing…..People want answers, not noise. They want to ask more intelligent questions and get to the next level of computer-aided intelligence.”

For AlphaSense’s customers – analysts at large investment firms and banks or any other industry, as well as one-person shops – that means search needs to get them out of ferreting through piles of research docs for the nuggets of information they really need. Neervannan knows the pain of trying to interpret a CEO’s commentary to understand what he or she was really saying when making the point that numbers were going down when referring to inventory turns. (Jack Kokko, former analyst at Morgan Stanley, is AlphaSense’s other co-founder.)

“You are essentially digging through sets of documents [using keyword search], finding locations of terms, pulling them in piece by piece and constructing a case as to what the company’s inventory turn was really like – what other companies’ similar information was, how that matches up. You have to do quantitative analysis and benchmarks, and it can take weeks,” he says.

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Thinknum Sees Financial Analysis In A New Light

thinknumpixThinknum is a startup with the mission: disrupting financial analysis.

In his work as a quantitative strategist at Goldman Sachs, Thinknum co-founder Gregory Ugwi saw firsthand the trials and tribulations financial analysts went through to digest companies’ financial reports and then build their own research reports about their expectations for future performance based on past numbers. The U.S. SEC’s mandate that companies disclose their financial data using XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) was supposed to help them, as well as investors of all stripes and sizes that want to better understand what’s going on at the companies they’re interested in.

“The SEC has mandated that all companies have to release their numbers in a machine-readable format, and that’s XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language),” says Ugwi. The positive side of that is that anyone can now get the stats on companies from Google to Wal-Mart, but the downside is that by and large, they can’t do it in a user-friendly way.

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Linking XBRL to RDF: The Road To Extracting Financial Data For Business Value

Dr. Graham G. Rong, founder of IKA LLC, and senior industrial liaison officer at the MIT Corporate Relations Office, leading collaboration between the institute and industry, has been working on a semantic web approach to social and financial analysis based on digital financial data and other information related to companies that can be found on the Internet. The approach first turns XBRL data from SEC reports into RDF format, and then links that with the relevant social information in the company’s ecosystem, to deliver more business value.

The project, which began at MIT (see our earlier story here), has advanced to the application stage, and the software is moving from a JAVA to a browser-based interface. Rong says the team also is developing a web services API for the system.

“Current XBRL technology primary collects financial data for reporting, and secondarily, as more XBRL-based financial data becomes available, it will need to effectively extract financial data for value,” says Rong. Semantic web technology lets the focus be on the latter.

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